Changes to Booking Policy

Context

We provided background information with respect to pending booking policy changes in a blog post (07 April, 2021).  Further context is that our volunteer manager sends over 1500 emails a year in order to process The Scout Hut bookings through: answering queries, confirming bookings, sending out booking information and access codes, changing bookings, chasing up accommodated numbers, sending out invoices and chasing people for final payments.  Hence, some of the booking policy changes are being made to assist with the burden associated with processing bookings.  Depending on the success, or otherwise, further changes to our booking policy may be rolled out during the year.

Deposit must be paid at time of booking

For all General Public and Scout Family bookings, all deposits must now be paid on the day of booking.  Failure to do so will mean that the booking will be to assumed to no longer be required.

Payments via Credit Card or Paypal only

In order to facilitate ‘on the day’ payment of the deposit then for all General Public and Scout Family bookings, deposits and final payments must now be via Credit Card or Paypal only.  i.e. we no longer except bank transfers for General Public or Scout Family bookings.  We will still accept bank transfers for Scout/Guide/School/Youth Group bookings.

Minimum nightly payment – $100 for all days of the week

Regardless of the whether the nights booked are a weekend, school holiday or weekday, the minimum nightly payment is now $100 per night.  For weekday bookings made prior to 20 May, 2021, the $50 per night minimum will be honoured,   

One booking per group per (Scout Hut) year

There has been an exponential increase in the popularity of the Scout Hut over the past few years.  We appreciate that this is because what we have is quite unique in a unique part of the world and we acknowledged that we are quite privileged to be the custodians of the Scout Hut.  Our Scouting values guide us to share this facility with as many people as possible so that we can ‘put happiness into the lives of others’.  To maximise the spread of that ethos, we now only allow General Public and Scout Families to have only one booking per Scout Hut year.  The ‘Scout Hut year’ runs from 01 Nov to 30 Oct each 12 months.  Why the odd dates?  This is because one ‘smarty’, when their January booking wasn’t accepted because they already had a weekend booking in the prior December, challenged that of our policy stated ‘1 weekend booking per year’ and that their bookings were in different years.

Also, for the purpose of those who want to challenge the system as to ‘What constitutes a group?’ A group must be made of at least 80% of people who haven’t been to the hut in ‘the Scout Hut year’.

January 2022 bookings

The bookings for January 2022 have now been split into 3 bookings being available during each week in January.  That is, there will be 1 x 3 night booking and 2 x 2 night bookings available in a week.  We appreciate that there is significant interest in these dates and it is ultimately the root cause of the ‘unhelpful’ behaviours that has been displayed by a small number of people. In turn that has driven changes to our booking policy changes.

Our desire is to increase the diversity of the groups for January booking (i.e. not the same groups each year).  We could implement a ballot system where there are expressions of interests for January bookings and then run some sort of random draw, however, this is a huge and unfair burden on our booking officer to co-ordinate.  Hence, for January 2022 bookings the following will be trialed:

Between 01 June and 31 July 2021, an available January 2022 booking will be randomly selected and advertised at random days and random times on our Facebook page.  First come, first served.

We appreciate that this system too has inherent issues.  One of which is driven by society’s ever increasing ‘fear of missing out’ (FOMO) and hence, as we’ve seen in the past, some groups immediately book, pay the deposit and cancel a few days later once they’ve worked out it isn’t suitable.

Our current policy is that the deposit is fully refunded, however, to assist society with its FOMO anxiety and to make the right choice in the first place, any cancelled January 2022 bookings will attract a $100 cancellation fee, regardless of when the booking is cancelled.  Hence, please book wisely.